Over the years of being an Interior Design Professional , I have had various experiences on site , with different materials , colleagues , labors etc.. But the most promising bunch of experiences for any professional is that with our “Clients”
Every Designer/ professional has a certain outline drawn out for their “Ideal Clients” . For me an ideal client would be informed and realistic! Well it is not always that we are blessed with such clients , but I would willingly accept that my set of clients have been more of the ideal ones in one and more ways . I am grateful to have worked with some amazing yet sometimes demanding and well lets just call them - quirky clients! Afterall not all clients can be put into one category. Over the years I have been able to classify the types of clients into 5 common categories. Enjoy the read , while you take a mental note of the types you have encountered with …or the kind you have been.
These are the enthusiasts , researchers and eager ones all at once. To start with , they have their own mood boards , with tonnes of reference clippings and colour charts etc. They have been all over the place , have been scouting Pinterest and Houzz and are eager to start and finish already. It is fun with all the creative juices flowing …But mind you , they are very hard to please as they already have ideas overflowing , and are super excited and almost can't wait for a dreamy and out - of - the world outcome. More often then not , having seen the number of references they do, it is hard for them to conclude on one thing as they usually want the best of everything. Be ready for a world of changes on paper and during execution to match up to the canvas of ideas they have in mind!
The Fast And F(C)urious
How long will this take? What is the height of this and WHY? Why is the work taking so long? (But Sir , it's only the fourth day of work …we have 2 months to go!)
This type of clients are always curious about everything that is happening, the deadlines , the products , the labor , the deliveries , the designs etc. Be ready to answer loads and loads of questions because they never fall short of that stock. They come in expecting all the design and execution work is a matter of only a few days and you might find yourself sitting on a ticking clock 24/7. They have an uncanny way of questioning all your calls regarding design , colors , timelines , joinery details and technical aspects etc etc. I have realized over time , most of them actually just want to ensure your constant attention (even though it actually is there ) and fear losing control over all things. They like to have the reins in their hands and all your attention possible.
Straight, to the Point
They have no time to fool around and put across their expectations straight out. These are the ones who willingly trust the design process and are not too involved during the entire project. The materials , colours , patterns and designs seldom go through the review tunnel and they are happy to delegate control to the design team at work. These clients call for great creative freedom. The key to making such clients happy is understanding their requirement well in the first few interactions itself . Decode the client’s requirement accurately and you are all set to go!
I had read this term somewhere and could so very well relate to it, that it had to be in this list. These are the types who never settle at one place and never let you too. They often understand your designs well , have a great taste but need to double check on everything , four times ! They are usually afraid to settle on one thing , and like to evaluate absolutely everything available before freezing any designs. Often they are left more confused because of this and tend to involve close ones , friends and family to double check on everything throughout the process. Watch out, for these are the ones who are going to keep changing their minds and yours still have something else that has caught their attention recently.
The Slippery Client
Be careful of this type! They are the tricky , deceitful , clever and elusive ones. You might find them either very easy in the beginning or very picky about everything , but they have their way with words and you may be left confused to conclude on anything! Be sure to have a watertight contract and be very clear with all terms before formalizing anything with them
I could make a long list and go on but these are in general the common types I am sure we all can relate to. I have had a bag full of varied experiences with clients , yet I can say most of them have ended up being Ideal clients with their own, unique personalities. All clients come in with a lot of apprehensions and questions themselves , but most of them eventually develop the confidence and trust the process of working with trained and skilled professionals and we as professionals due to this trust ,gain our loyal clientele at the end of every successful project!
P.S- As a designer, I can say I particularly cannot boast of being an Ideal Client myself!